Ramprakash calls time on illustrious first-class career
LONDON: Former England batsman Mark Ramprakash announced his retirement from cricket with immediate effect on Thursday.
The 42-year-old, whose career started with Middlesex in 1987, made the decision after being dropped from the Surrey team earlier this season.
“I’d like to formally announce my retirement from first-class cricket. I’d like to express how lucky I feel to have had such a long career,” said Ramprakash at a news conference at The Oval, Surrey’s headquarters.
Ramprakash, a prolific run scorer at first-class level, was unable to transfer his domestic form to the international stage with just two hundreds in 52 Tests.
“I’ve been asked about regrets in my England career many times, but you do the best you can,” he said.
“I couldn’t have trained any harder and I did the best I could at that time. I went through many ups and downs, but did have some highlights,” Ramprakash added.
But it was a different story during a 25-year first-class career that started at Middlesex before he moved across London to Surrey 11 years ago.
He scored 35,659 runs in 461 first-class matches since his county debut and more than 13,000 in limited-overs cricket.
However, Ramprakash, widely regarded as likely being the last man in cricket history to make 100 first-class hundreds because of the reduction in domestic fixtures, was dropped by Surrey for the first time earlier this season as he struggled for runs.
Ramprakash endured a frustrating international career, averaging a modest 27.32 in Tests — barely half his county return.
He managed just two Test hundreds, with a best of 154 against the West Indies in Bridgetown in 1998 and 133 against Australia at The Oval in 2001.
Ramprakash also played in 18 one-day internationals.
At county level, he topped 1,000 runs in 20 separate seasons and three times made more than 2,000 – in 1995, 2006 and 2007.
His highest-first class score was an unbeaten 301, for Surrey against Northamptonshire, at The Oval in 2006.
Ramprakash became known beyond cricket circles after winning BBC television’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ celebrity dance competition in 2006.